Imagine a life where your office could be anywhere, from a serene beach to a bustling city café. That's the life I was dreaming of when I transitioned from a traditional CTO to a Nomad CTO. This journey has been about more than just a career change; it's been a whole lifestyle transformation.
My Personal Journey to Nomadism
After a severe burnout, I found myself at a crossroads, leading to a decision that dramatically altered my life. I stepped down from my CTO role and embraced a nomadic lifestyle. Our family camper, once a symbol of leisure, became our new home. The early days were challenging, adapting to life on the move, but each day brought new adventures and learnings.
Technology and Connectivity
On the road, staying connected is crucial. While CAT4 routers can be adequate for basic use, a router with a higher category is a more suitable choice. It provides the speed, reliability, and advanced features necessary to handle the demanding and varied internet needs of a tech professional on the move. While traveling through Europe, I experienced the best internet in Portugal and the worst in Germany. Staying within the EU has its perks, like using one SIM card across countries. I also tried Starlink, but its uplink didn't meet my needs, so I mostly stuck with classic 4G LTE.
Embracing New Roles and Letting Go of Titles
Letting go of my traditional CTO title opened up a world of new possibilities. I delved into mentoring, coaching, and fractional work. This transition taught me the value of flexibility and the importance of using my experience in diverse, dynamic ways.
Family Involvement and Adjustments
Adapting to nomadic life was a family affair. One of the biggest adjustments was embracing homeschooling for our kids. It's been a journey in itself, filled with its own set of challenges and rewards. Feel free to visit my wife’s blog to learn more.
Life Lessons and Philosophies
This lifestyle has taught me a profound lesson: life is short, and then you die. It's essential to make the most out of every moment. Embracing the nomadic lifestyle has been about living fully and experiencing the world in its entirety.
Memorable Experiences and Destinations
One of the more surprising lessons came in Colombia, where I learned about the nuances of their banking apps. Unlike what I was used to, these apps lacked transaction detail views, making it challenging to track spending. The data was supposedly there, but system downtimes and unhelpful customer support made accessing it impossible.
The Entrepreneurial Spirit
Being a nomad meant redefining how I worked. It wasn't just about juggling multiple clients; it was about constantly adapting to new challenges and environments. This shift to an entrepreneurial mindset required not just technical expertise but also a curiosity for various company cultures. Eventually, it also meant, not insisting on my dusty CTO title.
Advice for Aspiring Nomad CTOs
For those considering a nomadic lifestyle, my advice is practical: ensure you have at least six months of funds in the bank. Life on the road is full of unexpected challenges, and the last thing you want is to be plagued by existential fears if things don't go as planned. And trust me, they often don't.
Networking and Community Engagement
Building a robust network has been vital in my journey. Engaging with local and global tech communities has not only expanded my professional network but also provided fresh perspectives and a sense of belonging in the tech world.
Transitioning into a nomad has been an enlightening journey of self-discovery, resilience, and embracing change. If you're curious about this lifestyle or seeking advice on making this transition, I'm more than happy to share my experiences and insights. Reach out, and let's explore how you too can embark on this exciting and unconventional path.